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{ Category Archives } architecture of sorts

Your build needs to be better

I’ve said it before, build systems are a huge annoyance. If your build is anything other than seemingly instantaneous, it’s costing you severe money. Your developers are probably off reading HN, or writing blog posts about how slow builds cost them, while the build is going. When they finish doing that, which may be some […]

The package management paradox

There was no need to build a package management system since CPAN, and yet npm is the best. Wait, what? Every time a new programming language or framework is released, people seem to decide that: It needs its own package manager. Simple algorithms need to be rewritten from scratch in “pure” $language/framework and distributed as […]

On the fitness for purpose of a software model

In which the quantity 1/”booleans per module” is proposed as a software quality metric, and readers are left hanging.

On immutable data structures…?

If you write a scholarly publication and cite another one, what you say about it depends on its mutability. An article or a book can be cited by saying “this publication I’m identifying here says this”. Maybe you have to version your claim: “the second edition of this publication says this”. They’re immutable. Even if […]

The death of scripting

Back in the day, when programmers knew that they couldn’t possibly think of everything somebody might want to do with a computer, there were scripts. If somebody could find enough of the pieces of the thing that they wanted to do, they might be able to put them together themselves in furtherance of their task. […]

Object-Oriented Programming in Objective-C

UIKonf 1995 Keynote : Object-Oriented Programming in Objective-C Introduction Welcome to the keynote for UIKonf 1995. I’m really excited for what 1995 will bring. Customers are upgrading to last year’s OpenStep release, which means that we get to use the new APIs and the best platform around. And really, there are no competitors. OS/2 Warp […]

Getting better at doing it wrong

For around a month at the end of last year, I kept a long text note called “doing doing it wrong right”. I was trying to understand error handling in programming, look at some common designs and work out a plan for cleaning up some error-handling code I was working with myself (mercifully someone else, […]

The Design of the Bazaar

In The Design of Design, Fred Brooks makes an interesting point about ESR’s description of the Bazaar model of Linux (and, by extension, “Open Source”) development. Linux was actually designed in a cathedral. The design was supplied by Unix, where Linux was to be a work-alike replacement for a particular component. There was even a […]

Hiding behind messages

A problem I think about every so often is how to combine the software design practice of hiding implementations behind interfaces with the engineering practice of parallel execution. What are the trade-offs between making parallelism explicit and information hiding? Where are some lines that can be drawn? Why do we need abstractions for this stuff, […]

On opinionation

I’ve realised that when I read that a tool or framework is “opinionated”, I interpret that as meaning that I’m going to have to spend time on working out how to express my solution in its terms. I have enough trouble trying to work out how to express my solution in terms of my problem, […]